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After racing some dirt bikes, tackling some trails, and putting a lot of mud and some more time on the 800 I have some more advice. And for anyone that read my other review... I changed my mind, I don't want an 850XP anymore. Nope, I want a cheap used sport quad and my 800. Reasons why (skip to the end for review):

First, I'd suggest anyone that just wants to get familiar with an ATV's basic capabilities, find a free use motor cross track with hills and jumps. Jumping probably isn't a great idea but the jumps provide a great way to get familiar with hills, clearing small obstacles, etc. I was able to build back up to serious inclines quickly by tackling by using the jumps as inclines (build from a 5 ft incline to an actual hill). Just a suggestion for building confidence (I had a bit of chicken in me from something a while back).

Also, short jumps meant for bikes and sport ATVs, it is good to know how the 800 will perform if you hit an obstacle like this... poorly is a good summation. Anything under about two feet high (meant for hopping) will clip the rear wheels quickly and you will hit nose first. Even at low speed (under 20) front end will hit first without very precise throttle control. This is pretty useful to know on the trail because what looks like just a bump, if it drops back down after could have your nose hitting. Although if you do hit them extremely fast you can hop them... I wouldn't suggest it.

Next, banked turns, good way to find your limit on a horizontal grade. Relatively safe way to ease up difficulty. And the short turns are a good way to learn the safe speed to take a turn on loose ground.

There were a lot of guys out there on dirt bikes and sport quads, ironically when it is wet and cold and the track has not been maintained all winter... the big utility quad leaves them far behind. I felt pretty underwhelming until I saw the track conditions. It is sort of a testament to what a utility quad is for versus the others. When the conditions are poor, a good utility quad will be pulling everyone else out of the mud or off the trail.

As far as review... AWD works wonders. I still have not found myself saying "I wish I had three or four settings for this". You can lock it on purpose, just give it gas before hand. Plastic throttle, I know why someone suggested metal... but it's a question of whether you want to break the switch or your thumb. Be aware of your thumb if riding fast on rough terrain. Don't really notice a wet v dry difference in hand brake... maybe a little but not enough to care. Rear break slips a bit when wet... simple thing and if you can't take that put down an extra 2k for a Yamaha. If you don't have front and rear guards, you'll probably end up wishing you did. Unless you just ride cleared trails all the time with no one else on them. Break it in properly and the belt catch gets a lot smoother.
**If you get the rear guard, center it with the rear compartment before you tighten the bolts or you will be making a quick fix. I know, simple but I bet 1,000 other people thought... I should have done that, I'm one of them**.

Kudos to those who criticized me on the "now I want an 850". What I've definitely learned is I want something to ride for the sake of riding and use for utility... and the 800 handles all of that. What I probably should get is a cheap, used sport quad for everything else. After having a little too much fun on the 800, I'm reminded it weighs 1/2 ton with me on it. Absorbing the shock and turning a machine weighing that much does get exhausting. On a dry day, with a little track maintenance... a sport quad or bike would have killed me in a race. And much as I love jumps, I'm not foolish enough to think jumping 1/2 ton on a moto jump is a good idea. In the end I think would be great to have a quad you can ride anywhere, and use for things... and one you can jump, play, and control in the air. Just my two cents...
 

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Sorry I fell asleep in the middle of your post !
What did you say ? :feedback:
 
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